Many have asked why I do this. The simple, though wholly inadequate reply is, "Because I like to do this." It's true I like to read aloud, and have done so in my own amateur style most of my life.
These readings begin nearly all of my mornings, and become a joyful part of
my life. So, here is what I am doing, rather than a "navel exploration" of
my motives for doing it.
I like certain authors. Now that's a revelation, isn't it? So gradually in
my early work with LibriVox, with which I am no longer affiliated, I
selected a favorite author: G. K. Chesterton, and set to work reading all
his public domain writings that were both readily available to me and did
not include voice changing parts (dramatic readings) because I keep
forgetting which voice I should be using at any moment. I also excluded
poetry which I like only in small increments. To paraphrase Swinburne: "From
too much love of living, from hope and poetry set free, we thank with brief
thanksgiving whatever gods there be. That no man lives forever, that dead
men rise up never, and that even the weariest reader winds somewhere safe to
Nearing completion, those many people who supported my efforts at LibriVox,
but especially Karen Merline (God bless her!) suggested a number of other
authors and literature types I might read. Belloc was a familiar name that I
had never read before. Being an intimate of Chesterton, he seemed a natural.
You now endure the fruits of that list. I have the same restrictions on
voice work or poetry, but intend to read all I can find of Belloc. After
that, I just don't know. But then, since I am retired, and not growing
younger, that decision may be made for me.
I love all the seasons, and do not cope well with heat, so I chose Minnesota
in which to retire. A side benefit is that we have only two seasons: Winter
and August, and it snows in both of them. (No, I didn't invent that! Like
everything clever I have ever said or done, I borrowed it from another more
clever.) Returning to the point, it is that we are blessed here with a very
long, and sometimes very cold winter, which provides many a dark morning in
which reading into a microphone brightens the moment, and the day. It's a
Well to wind up, since disassociating with LibriVox, Annise, a wonderful
person from "down under" a very long way from Minnesota, has worked with me
and she has set up all this stuff so that I can continue to do what I love
doing, and I hope some of you find it worth the downloading and listening.
I read in a casual style, and small word substitutions happen often. As long
as the original meaning is intact, I consider it well done. All readings are
an interpretation of the work, and variations in pace, pauses, emphasis, and
such can result in widely different hearings. My goal is that you will hear
the author speaking.
I don't much hold with "Political Correctness" because I see it as an
intolerant person attempting to control me by labeling me intolerant.
Still, some words, once in common usage, are today highly offensive to
certain groups, and it was never the intention of the author to offend them.
In those few cases I substitute a word or phrase that captures the meaning
without using the offensive word. I am sure somewhere, someone will be
offended by that. While I don't intend to offend anyone, being offended is
their own issue and not mine. It's how they choose to take things.
And that is what I am doing and that is my disclaimer. My hope is that some
of the authors meaning will strike a chord of response in the listeners.
Thank you all for the investment of your time in my readings. There would be
no point to all this effort without you, the listeners.
Clicking on the book title will take you to it's page and you can then listen on line or download the files to listen on your computer or MP3 player.
October 9, 2012 Subject:
Ray - Chesterton, and now Belloc, take on such a new flavor when you read them! I will always remember your reading of 'The Napoleon of Notting Hill' and 'Manalive'. I look forward to listening to your other readings and to see what author you choose next, may I recommend George MacDonald?? :)
October 2, 2012 Subject:
Thanks for all the wonderful work you do. Great to see so much of these two great authors here. Hope to see more. Why did you decide to leave Librivox or is that a personal question?